Former Man Utd hopeful in high-speed car chase

Gavin Naylor
Gavin Naylor

A FORMER Manchester United hopeful and Hartlepool United trialist led police on a late-night high-speed chase through residential streets.

The drama started after patrolling traffic police ran a computer check and discovered that the vehicle was not insured.

A court heard that as the police helicopter hovered over Hartlepool, Gavin Naylor raced through a red light and drove his Volkswagen Golf into a one-way street in a bid to avoid capture.

He led police around the town and towards Blackhall before police cars pulled back and left Naylor to be followed by the Cleveland Police helicopter.

Naylor, who spent five years at Manchester United and also had trials at Middlesbrough before his trials at Victoria Park, has now admitted a string of motoring offences including dangerous driving and will be sentenced by magistrates on Monday.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that a police patrol in the town’s West View Road spotted the 31-year-old footballer-turned-bodybuilder acting suspiciously as he turned into a one-way street on Monday, May 9.

The officers ran checks on the car he was driving as they followed it towards Brus corner into Winterbottom Avenue, before the in-car computer showed the vehicle was not insured.

Anne Mitchell, prosecuting, said: “Officers put the blue lights on and he continued at 30mph before he accelerated hard into Bruce Crescent.

“He sped along that road and then turned into Myers Avenue and then Davison Drive.

“He then turned onto Warren Road and into Winterbottom Avenue and at this point he slowed down slightly, but did not stop for a red light and continued at high speed towards the Brus roundabout and turned again into West View Road.

“He then went onto Easington Road and drove towards Blackhall.”

Police then ended the pursuit, but the helicopter followed him back to his home in Dobson Place, Hartlepool, where he told police: “I didn’t stop because I have no insurance.”

Naylor has since pleaded guilty to using a motor vehicle without third party insurance, driving a motor vehicle dangerously and failing to stop when required by a constable or traffic warden.

Neil Taylor, mitigating said: “Mr Naylor bought the car legitimately off his cousin, but hadn’t insured it.

“He is unemployed, but in the early stages of setting up his own personal trainer company.

“He is looking at setting up a bootcamp-style training programme.”

Naylor spent five years at Manchester United as a teenager before requesting a transfer back to the North-East because of his young son.

He was snapped up by Middlesbrough but failed to make the grade and then played for a number of non-league clubs before his trial for Pools.

The case was adjourned for sentence and Naylor must appear again on Monday.

Magistrates’ bench John Jenkins said: “You must not get behind the wheel of any car at any time before you come back to court.”

Naylor was granted unconditional bail.